Operation Smile staff member is Dr. Hal Rosenfeild begins reconstructive surgery for a cleft lip on a three-month-old infant aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) during a medical service project.
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Reconstructive surgery is, in its broadest sense, the use of surgery to restore the form and function of the body, although maxillo-facial surgeons, plastic surgeons and otolaryngologists do reconstructive surgery on faces after trauma and to reconstruct the head and neck after cancer.
Other branches of surgery (e.g., general surgery, gynecological surgery, pediatric surgery, cosmetic surgery, podiatric surgery) also perform some reconstructive procedures. The common feature is that the operation attempts to restore the anatomy or the function of the body part to normal.
Reconstructive plastic surgeons use the concept of a reconstructive ladder to manage increasingly complex wounds. This ranges from very simple techniques such as primary closure and dressings to more complex skin grafts, tissue expansion and free flaps.
Cosmetic surgery procedures include breast enhancement, reduction and lift, face lift, forehead lift, upper and lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), laser skin resurfacing (laser resurfacing), chemical peel, nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), reconstruction liposuction, nasal reconstruction using the paramedian flap, as well as tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
Many of these procedures are constantly being improved. Recent literature in medline also has noted implementation of barbed suture in these procedures.
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